Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition Preview

“Now console owners can enjoy getting their asses kicked by a wonderful old-school RPG.”

Divinity: Original Sin is a fantastic PC game, but developer Larian Studios wants to make it even better. They also want to reach a wider audience, and the result is Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition. It's an updated version of the 2014 RPG, and it includes new content and a staggering number of careful tweaks to ensure a better overall experience. It also introduces controller support, which means Divinity heads to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for the first time. After my hands-on time with the console version at E3, I can confidently say it's a worthy re-release that goes above and beyond with its changes.

When I first heard about the Enhanced Edition of Original Sin, I was skeptical about the revamped control scheme. The game's roots come from the likes of Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights, isometric RPGs that only worked with a mouse and keyboard. Fortunately, the folks at Larian Studios have created some clever workarounds for the game's new controller support. Obviously players directly control characters with the analog stick, but pushing it in changes to a more traditional point-and-click option.

As for combat, a simple press of the triangle button selects the hotbar so players can use abilities and wreak havoc on the opposition. Switching between characters or enemies only requires the L1 and R1 buttons. It all feels intuitive, and it only took me a few moments to familiarize myself with the new controls.

The inventory system also features a streamlined interface, though Larian Studios noted it's a work in progress. I was able to cycle through the different characters and their respective menus with the L1/L2 and R1/R2 buttons. It's not quite as elegant as some of the other control scheme solutions in the game, but it gets the job done and makes it possible to sort through an inventory with a controller. I have to imagine not many PC RPGs can make such a transition seem relatively painless. Also noteworthy is a special loot option in which players hold down the X button to highlight objects to interact with in a set radius. It's similar to the ALT key in the original PC version, and it works wonders.

Although controller support is a big selling point for the Enhanced Edition, it doesn't speak to the changes made to the existing game to improve it. Larian Studios has gone back and rewritten entire dialogue sequences, added full voice acting, and even reworked some significant parts of the ending. The mechanics of the game have also been altered slightly, with new AP point allocations, balancing tweaks, and even brand new abilities. According to the company, too many players felt burnt out about halfway through the game. In the Enhanced Edition, the team at Larian hopes players stick around and continue to appreciate character progression many hours into the campaign.

I'm sure the game is still tough-as-nails, but players don't have to suffer defeat alone. The Enhanced Edition touts cooperative multiplayer much like the original game, but for the first time it supports local multiplayer. Both players can go their separate ways and the game will seamlessly switch to split-screen. In fact, players can fight their own battles, though it's probably best to stick together. One of the benefits of consoles or living room desktop setups is the option for couch co-op, and Divinity: Original Sin seems like a worthy candidate in the new version.

Although Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition introduces a new console audience, it also targets PC owners out too. The Enhanced Edition will be released on there as well, and owners of the original game receive it as a free update. It's an impressive update, one with all kinds of new content and adjustments to help deliver the ultimate version of Divinity: Original Sin. No matter the platform, RPG fans are in for a treat when the Enhanced Edition comes out later this year on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.